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Poll shows most Russians support creating independent internet within BRICS

January 29, 2018, 12:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At least 41% of those polled are concerned about restriction of access to global internet resources in case this initiative is launched

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. More than half of Russians back the idea of creating an independent internet segment within BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and the Republic of South Africa), according to a survey released by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center.

"Russia’s proposal to create an independent internet within BRICS member states was supported by 58% of our citizens (29% voted against,)" the center said. One in two Russians (52%) believe in developing the Internet as a global space useful for society. In contrast, 13% backed the creation of an internet within several states, and about one in four (23%) would prefer to have a local internet in their country.

Half of Russians pointed to an uptick in the level of data security in general (49%) and better protection from international hackers (prevention of possible attacks, 49%) among the benefits of creating an internet segment within BRICS. On the other hand, 41% of those polled are concerned about restriction of access to global internet resources in case this initiative is launched.

"One of the most interesting facts is that our society is gradually reassessing the Internet as a global information space. In 2000, almost two-thirds of the population (64%) believed that its development was useful for our society, but when compared to 2018, this figure plummeted to less than half, or 46%," experts from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center noted.

In November 2017, Chairman of the Russian Lawyers’ Association Sergey Stepashin reported that the Russian Federation Council recommended creating an isolated internet for BRICS members. BRICS is an informal multi-state association that was founded in 2006. It aims are to foster comprehensive cooperation between its member nations. The organization has a non-aligned character and is not directed against any third parties. The Russian national poll was conducted on January 12-13, 2018, by telephone among a stratified dual-frame random sample of 2,000 respondents. The sampling data were assessed by socio-demographic factors as well. The margin of sampling error does not exceed 2.2% with a 95% probability.

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